Every stage of your Edinburgh night out

‘Fuck it, let’s go to Hive’

We’ve all been through this – those out four times a week as fresh-faced freshers, splashing their new student loans about like they don’t have to last until Christmas, or those out once every two weeks, as their dissertation deadline looms and they save for a future without money from the government.

Whoever you are, this is how it goes:

1) The Dilemma

The first part is the hardest: persuading yourself that you 100% want to leave your warm bed, a night of Netflix and maybe some ice cream.

Even worse is when you want to go out but everyone else is studying and you realise that you will need friends for this outing. No matter what happens, if you have put make-up on, you are going out.

2) Pre-drinks

If you’re at Pollock, you head over to your designated pantry with your closest amigos, calling yourselves the ‘banter brigade’.  After calling your mate who has just woken up at 9pm, after being out the night before, you quickly persuade him to run a marathon to Scotmid to avoid paying the painfully high costs of alcohol at the JMCC shop.

This is where the drinking games begin – it doesn’t matter that you already know how dirty you all are because you have been playing never-have-I-ever since fresher’s week, the aim is to get paraletic (whether that involves Buckfast or not). Partly because you secretly hate clubbing, and also partly because deep down you know that something might happen and you might end up being Mutant of the Week.

There’s also the decision of where to go – one friend desperately wants to go a niche night at a club no-one ever goes to, one friend wants to go to Silk, one friend wants to go to Why Not, your rich friend wants to go to Lulu’s and get with old men, and you just want to get to a club. Any club.

So eventually, it ends up with: “Fuck it, let’s go to Hive”.

3) Taxi Time

You have put one of your friends to bed because there is no way she would get past the bouncers at Why Not, and her mascara is half-way down her face while she insists that she is ‘fine’ and ‘not drunk’. It’s time to order a taxi, and as you all head downstairs a shocking amount of time later, your legs now feel like no matter how banging you look in those heels, it is not worth the cold. You all get in a taxi and count to four, your friend is late as per, and from walking from halls to reception you don’t know where they have buggered off to or how.

When your friend appears you realise that it is actually two friends, you beg the taxi driver if you can fit six people in along with your “bev”, but the unfortunate and all too predictable answer is no. Getting to the club, you all look around at each other and offer up a pound each, but your pal is a legend, so he pays the whole fare as long as you all buy him a shot.

4) Getting Past the Bouncers

Once you arrive at the club you’re greeted by heaving queues and, usually, also by the wind and the rain, which destroys your carefully preened hair and make-up in thirty seconds flat.  Then come the bouncers who without fail ask you how many you’ve had – to which the answer is always “just the one, mate”.


Sometimes, when they get power hungry, even if you are using your own ID, you get subjected to a 10 minute examination about all the information on your license. Provided someone doesn’t need to run to a cash machine, and after remembering the name of that annoying ‘promoter’ girl in your halls to get in for a pound less, you finally get inside.

5) The Bar

By the time you are in the actual club, you realise that you are not drunk enough to dance yet. So you head up to the bar, where it is all about strategy. Sometimes you will wait for what seems like days to get served. Once you do get to the bartender, you realise that the next time you need a drink you will need to do this all over again and so sensibly order a triple vodka lemonade. At the bar, you will make many friends, where tomorrow your phone will be filled with people called “Joanna from Anthropology” or “Joe fit 2nd year who does…Maths?!”.

“Cool Mike from Psychology”

You also meet an array of people that happen to become another nationality when drunk,  forever remembered as “Fittie from Australia”, even if they’re from Kent. At this point in the night you will probably receive a snapchat from some sensible friend who decided to stay in and ‘revise’ – watching Netflix. The jealousy hits you. You suddenly wish you were at home petting your rabbit.

6) Dancing

The night quickly presents the question to graft or not to graft. Yes, you could meet someone great who rocks your world, or just your bed, but you could also have a boozy one with your mates and then go home, and have your whole bed all to yourself. If you decide to go for it the challenge is all about timing. You don’t want to find a significant other too early because then you have to spend the rest of the night winning them over which your friends, no matter how proud they are, will resent you for it in the end.

Dancing like this because you’re sexy as fuck

When the clock hits half one you are so drunk, bored and tired you remember that you hate clubbing, whilst dancing to some song about spreading it like a peanut butter jelly. You have also started paying by card and begun to get careless.. It isn’t real money when you’re drunk, right? You stay until the same bouncers who were so eager to not let you in are even more eager about kicking you out. Feeling like cattle, you’re mindlessly guided to the cloakroom and to the door. Here, you will either head to Hive, where your dignity will be lost, along with your hopes and dreams of a productive day the next day, or head home.

Not quite drunk enough to get kicked out

7) Quest for Food

This is when the quest for food begins – depending on your level of intoxication you either start walking back home, if the night already has seemed too much. If not, you head over to McDonald’s on Princes’ St. This is like the bar all over again, where the queues all condense into one and the real hunger games begin. If you decided that the club was enough you start walking home only to end up in Palmyra. The reduction section at Scotmid is your best friend and you head home, feeling like you just pulled a ten. You buy random items that you really need, like a 20 pack bag of quavers, soup and jaffa cakes.

If you actually did pull a ten then by this point you are heading home with your new buddy, you might stop by to get food, but you both know that you’ve only got one thing on your minds. It could go either way but most likely, what you thought would be the stride of pride, will be the walk of shame, hungry, at 7AM.

They’re going home together

8) The Morning After

Let’s face it, there really isn’t much to say because by the time you wake up, it will be late afternoon, you will be slightly confused about what year this is and you will have missed your lectures. You promised yourself that you could go out and have a ‘productive’ day afterwards but you lied to yourself and disappointed your family.

This seemed like a good idea at the time

If you hived till five then you also gave yourself tinnitus. You contemplate curing the hangover with a climb up Arthur’s seat or another one of Edinburgh’s scenic hills. You don’t go. And finally, you promise yourself that you won’t go out until after exams, knowing all too well that you don’t have the self-control or will to back it up, and this happens all over again.